Mater Dei Prep, the Catholic High School affiliated with St Mary’s Parish in Middletown, last week graduated its first class of scholars that attended all four years since the school was saved from closure by a $1 million grassroots fundraising campaign.
The 109 graduates of the Catholic preparatory high school collectively received $18.5 million in merit based college scholarships, an average of $169,725 per student, according to a write-up of the graduation on the school’s website. That’s quite an accomplishment for a school that was slated to close for financial reasons before the school community raised $1 million to keep its doors open.
Sue Kiley, the Deputy Mayor of Hazlet and a candidate for Monmouth County Freeholder, delivered the Commencement Address to the 2018 graduating class of Mater Dei Prep High School at Mary, Mother of God Church in Middletown.
In her moving address, Kiley, Class of 1972, shared three life lessons with the 109 graduates, their families, and the assembled school community.
The first is always to be faith based, the second is to always set goals, and the third is to never underestimate the power of your voice and what you can accomplish. “Believe in yourself. Believe in your voice. Believe you have the power to accomplish anything if you put your mind to it. Mark Twain said the two greatest days in your life are the day you are born and the day you figure out why. From today forward, grow, and nourish your faith every step of your journey. Set and strive to achieve lofty goals and believe in the power of your voice.”
“It was my honor to be the commencement speaker at the Mater Dei Graduation,” Kiley said. “Congratulations to all the graduates! Remember, believe in yourself and you will accomplish great things!